Lucilia “Lucy” Lu considers herself a “professional volunteer.”
The 30-year-old, who works as a recruitment supervisor at Therapeutics Clinical Research, serves on the local board of the Young Nonprofit Professionals and is a member of Women Give San Diego and Run Women Run, which encourages women to seek elective and appointive office.
Though her full-time gig is in the pharmaceutical industry, Lu’s heart is with nonprofits.
“Aside from my work in health care, I consider myself a professional volunteer,” she said. “My passion has always been to work in the nonprofit sector, but like many people in this economy I’ve had to adjust my career paths in order to continue working.
“The upside is that this difficult market forces people to develop skills that they never knew they had. For me, I learned that I really can do anything I want if I work hard enough, I can contribute in a field I’d never been involved with before.”
She hopes to one day get involved in politics—“whether it’s behind the scenes supporting neighborhood candidates or as a representative of my fellow neighbors.”
Advice for young people:
“Don’t be afraid of working in a field where you don’t have previous interest or experience. You may very well find out it’s the right fit for you. There are the lucky few who can make a career out of what they studied in school. Realistically, for most people nowadays, it won’t work that way. Once I accepted that I would never have a cookie-cutter career, I was happier with the opportunities I was blessed with and I quickly learned to make myself valuable in several industries.”